Greece and the economic crisis 2016

NEWS ARCHIVE - Oct 20 - Oct 31


October 29, 2016

Syriza Defiant After Judges Annul Key Policy - WSJ

"Greece’s supreme administrative court, the Council of State, ruled late Wednesday that the government, led by the left-wing Syriza party, acted unconstitutionally by licensing TV broadcasters itself, a power that the constitution reserves for an independent media regulator.

... In early September, the government auctioned broadcast permits for only four private TV channels, leaving several existing TV stations facing closure. The court ruling annuls the government’s auction and removes the threat of forced closures."


Spiegel report on refugees: EU countries refuse to send staff to Greece- Tornosnews

According to a confidential document, German magazine “Spiegel” claims to have in its possession, EU member states refuse to send specialised staff to help Greece deal with the numerous refugees hosted in the country, citing overcrowded hotspots and enraged migrants in the reception facilities. The EU-Turkey refugee agreement provides for the deployment by EU member-states of specialised staff to the overstrained first entry countries of Greece and Italy to alleviate their burden. The document, which derives from the European Council, describes the situation in the hotspots in Greece as unstable that could “create problems to the national staff, the EU services and NGOs”.


Investment Visa Growth in Greece - Luxuo

"Greece’s residency permit program was started in 2013 and has produced almost 1,000 visas to date. As one of many “Golden Visa” countries within Europe, Greece is set apart from the pack by the fact it offers the lowest real estate investment amount of any other country.

...1. Own the property yourself or through a legal entity you own. The minimum investment must be EUR 250,000.

2. Sign a timeshare lease valued at a minimum of EUR 250,000 ($272,500). The lease must be for 10 years and can be for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts.

3. Purchase a plot of land and then start constructing a building on it. The total value of the land and the contract with the builders must equal a minimum of EUR 250,000 ($272,500)."


October 27, 2016

Greece Has No Debt Problem for a Decade, Says ESM Head - WSJ

"...While Greece’s national debt has risen to around 180% of its gross domestic product since the financial crisis, that is “not relevant if you’re paying 1% interest,” he said. Athens is currently paying less for its debt, relatively speaking, than the governments of France or Belgium, Mr. Regling said, thanks to his fund’s cheap loans."


Greece concludes 400 million euro privatization of Astir Palace resort - Reuters

"Greece's privatization agency said it concluded the 400 million euro ($437 million) sale of Astir Palace, a luxury seaside resort outside Athens, to Turkish-Arab fund Jermyn Street Real Estate Fund on Thursday.

Greece and Jermyn Street agreed on the sale of a 90 percent stake in the Astir Palace hotel complex in 2014. But the deal stalled after Greece's leftist-led government froze privatizations and an administrative court ruled that planned construction violated national law."


October 26, 2016

Greece expects 'good news' on grid operator sale by next week: minister - Reuters

"We are at the stage where bids are being assessed. I think that towards the end of the week, at the latest the beginning of next week, we will have very good news to announce," Skourletis told a conference in Athens.

Skourletis, who government sources say may lose his post in an anticipated cabinet reshuffle, also said a strategic partnership signed on Monday between PPC, currently state-controlled, and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) affirmed he was right in opposing privatization of the electricity company."


Obama to visit Greece, Germany and Peru in likely last foreign trip - USA Today

"The trip to Greece, beginning on Nov. 15, will be the first by a U.S. president since Bill Clinton in 1999. Economic and migration issues will dominate his meetings with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, but White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also suggested a more thematic reason for the visit as Obama winds down his presidency. "In the birthplace of democracy, the president will also reaffirm the resilience of democratic values, which have done so much to deliver peace and prosperity to Europe and the wider world," Obama said."

More Coverage:

Greece awaits Obama trip amid tough bailout talks - Yahoo


Ten jihadists tied to Athens cell - eKathimerini

"Zaid Koulliss, 20, who is believed to be one of the jihadists that planned the suicide attacks in Paris and Brussels, had been briefly detained in Thessaloniki in October 2014 for lacking valid travel documents.

A search revealed that Koulliss had withdrawn 900 euros from his bank account a few weeks earlier and had bought bus tickets from Trikala to Munich."


How Greek businessmen benefit from Eu funds - Capital GR

"EIF signed the first guarantee agreement with Cooperative Bank of Karditsa this past May, aimed at supporting micro-enterprises in Greece under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). This new EaSI guarantee agreement with the CBK will cover a loan portfolio of EUR 5 million for over 300 micro-borrowers targeting mainly farmers, young unemployed borrowers, cooperatives and social enterprises, as well as micro businesses active in the green economy.

EIF is also currently an investor in seven venture capital funds of a total size of more than EUR 290 million mobilized. A recent example will be the EIF’s implementation of the JEREMIE initiative in Greece. This initiative has proved to be particularly successful on the equity side, where four venture capital funds were supported and which are investing in technology companies. Let me tell you an example of success: Workable, a Greek start up launched by a talented young team where a JEREMIE backed fund invested in 2013, two years later Workable obtained an additional investment of USD 34m from US venture capital funds."


Greece's best young female athlete for 2015 now calls Australia home - Neo Kosmos

"In 2015, she was voted one of Greece's top young athletes, yet, driven away by the crisis, from now on Anastasia Marinakou will be running on Australian tracks.

A short while ago she made the decision to relocate to Melbourne together with her family. She obtained citizenship via her father, who had previously lived in Australia for 25 years.

"This is why there was no visa issue for me," the 20-year-old told Neos Kosmos.

"There are, however, other problems; mainly that of surviving."


October 25, 2016

Regling says fund disbursement sign of reform ‘progress’ - eKathimerini

"Eurozone officials announced on Tuesday they have approved 2.8 billion euros for Greece from its huge third bailout after the cash-strapped nation delivered the needed reforms.

....On October 10, eurozone finance ministers unlocked 1.1 billion euros for Greece but held back the other 1.7 billion euros over Athens’s mountain of unpaid bills amid doubts from Germany."


Greece Grappling With 'Extreme Neoliberal' IMF - NYT

"Greece's labor minister says negotiators from the International Monetary Fund have adopted "extreme neoliberal" positions at the start of a new round of bailout talks in Athens, pressing to aggressively scale back union powers and employment rights. "


October 24, 2016

Protesters attack EU asylum offices on Greece's Lesbos - Reuters

"About 70 people, most from Pakistan and Bangladesh, threw rocks and burning blankets at EASO containers inside the Moria migrant camp, damaging three of those, a Greek police spokesman for the island said."

More Coverage:

Greece migrant protest wrecks EU Lesbos offices - BBC


Greek Police vs. Smugglers at Evros: Agonizing Daily Battles - Greek Reporter

"Gialamas [Evros Border Guard Chief Chrysovalandis Gialamas] says that official figures from the Greek police show that arrests of undocumented migrants were at 91 percent and arrests of refugee smugglers have tripled. Since the start of summer, 80-85 percent of arrests have concerned male Pakistani nationals aged from 20 to 40 years. Only 10 percent of those trying to enter are Syrians and women and children are rarely captured."


Deviations between Bank of Greece, Ministry data on tourism 2016 revenue - Tornosnews

"Figures have been collected up to and through the summer peak holiday season.Differences have also been detected both in terms of figures for the domestic market and foreign markets.In a statement to “Naftemporiki” Greek dialy newspaper, alternate tourism minister Elena Kountoura said the deviation in the two sets of figures is “troubling” for the ministry’s services and necessitates “further investigation”.


ND consolidate a double-digit lead over SYRIZA in latest poll - Protothema

"According to the second monthly survey conducted by Prorata and published in newspaper “Efimerida Ton Syntakton”, conservative opposition party New Democracy (ND) has consolidated a double digit lead against ruling SYRIZA."


October 23, 2016

Greece gets bailout inspection as unions raise rights claim - Fox News

"Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos started the meetings Friday with representatives from the International Monetary Fund and European Union institutions. Talks are due to include the operation of a powerful new privatization fund and labor reforms that would make it easier to dismiss workers and limit union powers."


Kountoura's contacts to promote Greece as "conference magnet" - TornosNews

"The minister [Alternate Minister of Economy and Tourism Elena Kountoura] met with Ray Bloom, founder and chairman of IMEX Group, Martin Sirk, CEO of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO of MPI Group, and Roger Tondeur President and CEO of MCI Group and informed them on Greece’s advantages as an ideal all year round destination that can host conferences and events of international agencies and organizations, corporate meetings and incentive travel events."


Greece returns Syrians to Turkey - Arutz Sheva

"The UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, on Friday said in a statement it was "seriously concerned" by Greece's decision to return 10 Syrian asylum seekers to Turkey, "without due consideration of their asylum claims."

The Syrians were among a group of 91 people who arrived on the Greek island of Milos on October 9."


October 20, 2016

Greece may get financial boost from EU refugee crisis - RT Com

"The funds will not be available immediately, but if agreed by the EU member states and the European Parliament, €300 million will be allocated this year. Two installments of €200 million are to follow in 2017 and 2018."

More Coverage:

Greece Might Just Get a Boost From an Unlikely Source - Bloomberg


Bankruptcy law changes on the way - Kathimerini

"The Justice Ministry is set to change the Bankruptcy Code considerably with the aim of modernizing the framework for overindebted enterprises so as to assist in their streamlining and cut down on nonperforming corporate loans from banks that currently total 65 billion euros. "


Brazil, Greece, Indonesia, Azerbaijan and Guatemala face Wada sanctions - BBC

"Azerbaijan and Guatemala are the other nations facing censure because of flaws in their drug testing programmes.

The five countries have until 10 November to prove their compliance with Wada's anti-doping code. "


The 2017 budget may cause recession, parliamentary budget office says - Capital GR

"...The budget office proposes a downward revision of the targets for primary surpluses and a redistribution of the burden between taxes and expenses in favour of the latter. The report also notes the need to reduce the primary surplus targets until and after 2018."


Fraport Greece unveils plans for upgrading Macedonia airport in Thessaloniki - Tornos

"The plans envisage that by 2020 Thessaloniki will have one of the best airports in the world, with passenger traffic expected to increase by 48 pct by 2026, signalling a new era for tourism in the city and the wider region.

The airport will be double in size, with the space of the terminal station rising from 25,000 sq.m. to 57,000 sq.m.. Check-in stations will rise by 47 pct, baggage zones rising by 75 pct, the number of gates rising 50 pct and security zones in the airport to double in numbers..."


'Holiday from hell' when they arrived in Greece - UK Daily Mail

"A young couple who spent almost £1,000 on their first trip abroad together had the ‘holiday from hell’ in Greece when their hotel turned out to be a building site. Toby Emerson, 19, and his girlfriend Danielle Hutchinson, 20, of Skelton-in-Cleveland, Lancashire, said their week-long stay in Falaraki was ruined.

The students claimed their Thomas Cook package deal was marred by noisy construction work, a lack of hot water and harassment from builders. "


Aid Group: Refugees Facing 'Appalling Conditions' in Greece - ABC News

"...In the highly critical report issued Thursday, the agency commonly known by its French name, Medecins sans Frontieres, argued that the European Union and Greece had "collectively failed to establish humane and dignified reception conditions."

More than 60,000 refugees and migrants — many escaping wars in Syria and Iraq — have been stranded in Greece following European border closures this year. Most still live in tents at about 50 refugee camps."


NEWS ARCHIVE - Oct 2016

INDEX NEWS ARCHIVE




Epicurus Greece Travel

Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life


Rick Steves Athens and Peloponnese Guide Book

Rick Steves Greece: Athens & the Peloponnese


Amazon 2016 Lonely Planet Guide Greece

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